November 2015: This case was stayed pending the resolution of three similar cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
November 2014: A federal judge dismissed some of the state false advertising claims (i.e., the negligent misrepresentation claims) in this lawsuit finding that the complaint did not refer to specific examples of misrepresentations made by the company, as required by state law. The judge stayed (i.e., suspended) the “evaporated cane juice” claims pending the FDA’s determination of when the term may be appropriately used. The other state law false advertising claims will move forward.
April 2014: Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint that removes the allegations regarding Costco’s Kettle Chips and now focuses on a variety of Costco’s fruit and nut products. Plaintiffs now allege, among other things, that the company deceptively markets several of these products as being rich in antioxidants, having “no sugar added,” promoting cardiovascular health, and being “preservative free” when those statements are actually false. Plaintiffs also claim that Costco misleadingly labels its Organic Chocolate Reduced Fat Milk as containing “evaporated cane juice” when it actually contains sugar.
For more details about plaintiffs’ revised allegations, click here to read the full amended complaint.
June 2012: A class-action lawsuit was filed against Costco claiming that it is making misleading health claims about its Kettle chips – namely, that the chips are healthy despite the fact that they contain a lot of saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. (Thomas v. Costco Wholesale Corp., Case No. 12-cv-02908, N.D.Ca.)